Episode 423 - Fave weapons in fiction?

Apr 22, 2019

What's your favourite weapon in fiction? Mine are ridiculously giant swords, huge anti-tank rifles, and mecha. There are a lot of complex reasons for weapon choices in fiction, a Kalashnikov assault rifles for example signals certain things about the person carrying it: They're usually a bad guy for a start. This originated during the cold war, with certain types of bad guys using AKs. First it was Soviet Bloc soldiers, then it was Viet Con and rebels from South East Asia, then it became the “terrorist” weapon. The sub machine gun is the weapon of the bad guy. Terrorists used to use Uzis (before they turned to AKs), bank robbers used to use Mac 10s, now it's the HK MP5. Good guys carry an M-16 or AR-15 rifle. In historical fiction traditionally the bad guys carries curved swords while the good guys had straight swords, this came from crusades. Minor characters carry spears and heroes carry swords. Women, weaker characters and rebels carry bows. Giant swords and guns are often given to smaller characters in anime (usually female), as an obvious contrast with their small size. It's meant to emphasis the fact they're sort of a “mighty mouse”.

Topics and Show Notes

Weapons technology can also be used to signal things about the society using them. In fiction the Nazis are highly mechanised, with their huge Tiger tanks, sleek half-tracks, and fighter panes. It shows a ruthlessly efficient fascist state with the power of high technology on their side. The Empire in Star Wars was directly influenced by them. In reality the Nazi forces were largely horse drawn, their air-force was limited and they had very, very few tiger tanks. But they lent us the “empire” trope where the bad guys have better weapons and the goodies have to beat them with pluck and improvised tactics, as in Avatar.

So what are your fave weapons in fiction and why do you think they're used in stories?

This week Gunwallace has given us the theme to Bottomless Waitress. This is such a happy sounding, Southern, joyful track, filled with banjo and layers of guitar, twanging away… bringing notes of sunshine, natural wood, the light glinting softly through tree leaves and making dappled shadows on the ground… Perfect for an advertising jingle!:
Slip into a comfy booth, get your butt comfortable on our soft cushions, and enjoy a plate of down-home cook’n in this fine establishment, filled with a cast of friendly ladies. Try a plate of our famous bottomless fries, a cup of our delicious bottomless coffee, and the sight of our lovely bottomless waitresses!

Topics and shownotes

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Featured comic:
Operation Boom - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2019/apr/15/featured-comic-operation-boom/

Featured music:
Bottomless Waitress - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Bottomless_Waitress/, by Ozoneocean and Banes, rated M.

Links:
Your fave weapons in fiction thread - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/forum/topic/178137/

Special thanks to:
Gunwallace - http://www.virtuallycomics.com
Banes - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/banes
PitFace - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/PIT_FACE/
Ozoneocean - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/ozoneocean

Episode 422 - Positive promotion and controversial characters

Apr 15, 2019

4 likes, 0 comments

The entire gang comes together today for two topics that were taken from recent newsposts: Emma Clare's Positive self promotion, and Tantz Aerine's Handling Controversial Characters. First up we chat about why it's always a great idea to sell yourself positively, NOT be arrogant or douchey, but rather by talking enthusiastically about what you genuinely love about your work and using that REAL and SINCERE enthusiasm to infect others with your love of what you do. Emma was mainly talking about the way you introduce your comics to friends and family but it definitely applies more broadly to self promotion in general: Don't try and get sympathy through self depreciation (oh, it's not very good…), and don't be an arrogant ass (My stuff is AWESOME!), rather you should just be honest about what you love about it (This story was so FUN to write!).

Episode 387 - History and Pastiche

Aug 7, 2018

6 likes, 1 comment

In this Quackcast Tantz and I chat about the differences between working with historical settings and the different approaches we take. Tantz's comics (Without Moonlight and Brave Resistance), are both set in a real period of history: Nazi occupied Greece during WW2. Pinky TA is set in the 1920s in an alternative version of history, with Pinky coming from the fictional “Crimean Empire”. Tantz has to keep times, places, and details close to real history while with Pinky TA I can pick and choose the things from history I like the best and create my own idealised pastiche. The advantage of Tantz's approach is that everything is there, nothing has to be invented, just researched and reproduced, whereas my approach involves a lot of creation which slows things down and makes it harder. On the upside Pinky TA is much more flexible, I can easily fit whatever I want into the story, whereas Tantz's comics are bound by the rules of the history she's presenting.

Episode 270 - Historical Accuracy Vs Story Needs part 2

May 9, 2016

3 likes, 0 comments

We return to the topic of historical accuracy versus the needs the the story. This was Bravo's idea and we wanted to have him along but alas it was not to be! Tantz Aerine, Pitface, Banes and I discuss the topic, reading from a few of the many contributions in the form thread that Bravo started. Special congratulations to Pitface who's just graduated with honours with her BA in classics! -So you she really does KNOW what she's talking about… as does Tantz too of course. Banes and I are just along for the ride. Gunwallace gave us a really pretty tune for the comic Torn Vines, a real action music, such a driving rhythm to it!

Episode 269 - Historical Accuracy VS Story Needs

May 2, 2016

6 likes, 4 comments

Never let historical accuracy get in the way of a good story… at least that's what Bravo proposes. We stole his thought provoking forum post subject for the topic of this Quackcast. This is how Bravo goes on to explain it: “So how do feel about that? Should exact adherence to the historical record be allowed to wreck your wonderful fiction? If so how much dramatic license is too much? What are your favorite examples of how they got it wrong and how they got it right? And what if just a touch more research would have revealed that the historical story was better than what the fiction writers concocted? How tragic is that? And what about the usage of known historical mythology/hoax as in the Da Vinci code?” The frisson between story requirements and known historical record is pretty interesting. In Hollywood the former wins out EVERY single time and usually it doesn't result in a better story anyway, but as we discuss in the Quackcast there are OTHER reasons than simple bad writing choices for not sticking to the real story and trying to hammer everything into the Hero's Journey template.

Episode 254 - Sexism in your OWN work?k

Jan 18, 2016

2 likes, 0 comments

OMFG you sexist PIG! Heh… today we talk about trying to recognise sexism in your OWN work, what to do about it, and WHY. It turns out it can be very hard to do, and if you DO acknowledged it the instinct is to rationalise it away, justify it, or just try and brazen it out in some kind of old fashioned, largely embarrassing, display. I frequently do all three. How do we spot it? Well the Bechdel test isn't that useful, that's better for looking at broad trends not giving specific works a pass/fail - sexy outfits is one thing, if females are dressed minimally or in tight gear in CONTRAST to the males or vice versa - females ONLY having old stereotype roles (maiden/mother/whore archetypes, secretary, nurse, victim, maid etc), though this is context sensitive, i.e. it's more forgiveable if you're doing a historical story or something stylised like a fairytale or a noire story - Gender balance is another thing, it's context sensitive because certain stories will naturally have more of one gender (WW2 submarine crew, Girl's school, a prison story etc), and you don't have to have an exact balance anyway but it's definitely something to THINK about because there is no reason most stories should feature a majority of male characters and a minority of females. WHY should you think about it? Why should you care? Well the audience for almost ALL types of stories, be they action adventure, romance, Scifi, fantasy, historical, even porn, is getting close to 50/50 between men and women these days (maybe it always was?), it really doesn't make sense to alienate or belittle half your audience just because you like to cling to older ways of doing stuff. Gunwallace's theme this week reminds me of a cross between the Knightrider theme and Gunship- it's VERY retro-future. It's the theme to DDSR, a comic with cool custom “sprites”, AKA pixel-art.

Episode 214 - Good character, Bad character? Part 2

Apr 12, 2015

4 likes, 5 comments

Continuing our theme from last week, Bravo1102 joins us to discuss good and bad character creation, along with two very well written characters; PitFace and Tantz Aerine! We use our best silly voices to read out the words of the smart people who had something to say on the subject in question and then we all get together to pick apart and discuss the points they made. Bravo joins us for the first time as a participant and not an interviewee and showcases his excellent and versatile vocal talents! Also- Gunwallace's tune for Joy To The World is especially funky. Please enjoy Quackcast 214!


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